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West Virginia lawmakers discuss prospects for growth and infrastructure

WV Press Legislative Lookahead Coverage

By Joselyn King, The Inter-Mountain of Elkins

WHEELING, W.Va. — The question for West Virginia lawmakers as they head to Charleston next week is which challenge they should tackle first — addressing the state’s population loss, improving its highways or expanding broadband access to rural areas.

How best to position West Virginia for growth in the future was among the topics of discussion during a virtual Legislative Lookahead forum Friday organized by the West Virginia Press Association.

West Virginia Economic Development Director Mitch Carmichael told reporters Friday the state will be making announcements next week pertaining to the expansion of broadband in rural areas.

“Our entire focus is to get to those in West Virginia who don’t have broadband service,” said Carmichael, who previously worked in the communications industry. “We are not building service for those who already have it, but for those who do not have it.”

Of about 700,000 home addresses in West Virginia, 300,000 do not have access to broadband, he said. …

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